British Glass completes the set as latest OPRL guarantor

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British Glass joins OPRL’s seven existing guarantors to complete the partnership of paper and card, beverage carton, aluminium and metals, and plastic packaging recycling organisations alongside local authority, and brand and retailer recycling interests. The on-pack Recycling and Refill labels run by OPRL Ltd, the rapidly growing not-for-profit, embrace all packaging materials with its recycling labels now recognised by more than 4 in 5 consumers.

As consumers call on government and business to help them ‘do the right thing’ for the planet and for future generations, the UK’s premier recycling and refill labelling scheme brings together expertise from across the packaging value cycle. Provisional recycling statistics for March-June 2020 suggest people struggled to recycle with some local recycling services interrupted or suspended during lockdown. Re-engaging consumers and reinvigorating citizen action is crucial to achieving higher recycling and refill (reuse) rates for packaging.

Guarantors support OPRL in its mission to collaborate across the packaging cycle to drive circularity and a transformation in resource efficiency in packaging through technical support as well as contributing to strategy, policy and governance.

Dave Dalton, Chief Executive of British Glass, said: “I am delighted that British Glass has joined OPRL as a guarantor in partnership with representatives across the packaging materials sectors. British Glass is absolutely committed to continuing to drive up recycling rates across the UK to develop a circular economy for packaging. We want to see every glass bottle and jar recycled back into a new glass bottle or jar. All glass packaging is 100% recyclable and the on-pack label plays a crucial role in communicating recyclability and how to recycle to consumers.”

“With the upcoming regulatory reforms including extender producer responsibility and consistency of collections, this is an incredibly important moment to work together across the packaging and recycling supply chains to get recycling right. Communication and consistent and clear labelling is a key part of the puzzle in achieving high recycling rates and supporting consumers in doing the right thing.”

Jane Bevis, Chair of OPRL added: “It’s great to welcome British Glass to our family of guarantors to complete our suite of materials organisations. Our strength lies in the broad coalition supporting and working with us on our labelling schemes, recyclability evaluation and design activities. Through this partnership with our guarantor organisations, we ensure we have a firm body of evidence underpinning our recyclability designations and labelling Rules. That’s how we’ve built consumer confidence in our labels which are now unrivalled in consumer recognition and understanding. Our latest research shows over 80 percent of consumers recognise our labels and an amazing 95 percent are confident they understand our new ‘Recycle’ labels – no other recycling symbol comes close to this performance.”

“We’re on the brink of once-in-a-generation reforms to the packaging producer responsibility regime and have a rare opportunity to transform our relationship with resources and the planet. Consumers tell us they want to do the right thing by the planet and future generations, but they need help from government and business to do so. Truthful and accurate labelling grounded in a thorough understanding of the factors affecting recyclability is key to supporting and engaging them successfully. Tapping into our guarantors’ expertise and evidence is essential to delivering that truth so strengthening our relationship with the glass sector is a real boon.”
Notes to Editors

1) OPRL Ltd operates the UK-wide On-Pack Recycling Label scheme used by over 640 member companies and charities. OPRL is an independent not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, established to help retailers and brands engage their customers in recycling. OPRL Ltd opened membership to the wider packaging supply cycle in 2017 and subsequently to compliance schemes and sustainability consultancies. The company’s guarantors span ACE UK, Alupro, CPI, INCPEN, LARAC, MPMA and RECOUP – and now British Glass.

2) British Glass is the representative body for the UK’s glass industry including glass packaging manufactures across the country. Glass is one of the most sustainable materials on earth. It is 100% recyclable and can be re-melted endlessly without ever reducing its quality. The UK’s glass sector has an excellent and improving recycling record, with 71% of all glass bottles and jars placed on the market recycled – one of the highest recycling rates of any packaging material. The ambition of the glass industry is to achieve a 90% collected for recycling rate by 2030.

3) Under OPRL’s Rules most packaging is designated:
• Refill where it is designed for reuse for its original purpose a minimum of 10 times and where the relevant refill system is available to 75% or more of the UK population, guaranteed for a minimum 3 years.

And/or either of

• Recycle where 75% or more of UK local authorities collect that type of packaging which is then effectively sorted, processed and sold as recyclate for use in new packaging or products.
• Don’t Recycle where fewer than 50% of UK local authorities collect that type of packaging and/or it is not effectively sorted, processed or sold as recyclate for use in new packaging or products.

A handful of fully recyclable packaging types where collections fall between 50-75% of local authorities retain the intermediary Check Home Collections status. Specialist labels, where bring site or front of store collections enable at least 75 percent of the population to access collection services feeding reprocessing infrastructure, remain available for beverage cartons, metal paint cans and PE films, with the addition of a new Specialist label for coffee cups.

Previously the OPRL label currently had three categories based solely on council recycling collections which are due to be removed from all packaging by January 2023:
* Widely recycled (75% or more of UK local authorities collect that type of packaging).
* Check local recycling (between 20% and 75% of UK local authorities collect that type of packaging).
* Not currently recycled (fewer than 20% of UK local authorities collect that type of packaging).

4) OPRL has published details of the Review’s methodology and evidential sources by publishing its document ‘On-Pack Recycling Labelling rules 2019: Evidence Base’. A new supporting labelling tool ensures characteristics such as size, colour and NIR detectability, polymer and material compatibility etc which affect recyclability are properly considered in labelling decisions. PREP UK parameters and thresholds have been updated and the PREP Technical Advisory Committee continues to ensure the tool reflects infrastructure and materials assessments.

5) OPRL’s latest consumer recognition and response figures, measured in February/March 2022, that showed at least 4 in 5 consumers recognise OPRL labels and 95% were confident they understood the new binary labels, making it the most widely recognised and understood on recycling label in the UK. The labelling scheme is used on hundreds of thousands of product lines, including 95 percent of multiple groceries retailers, owners of 93 of the Top 100 groceries brands, 4 in 5 top personal care brands, and 8 in 10 personal care, DIY and gardening, and homewares retailers.

Further information at: www.oprl.org.uk

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